Two-legged playoffs set to kick off on Friday as 5 groups from Africa will qualify for Qatar 2022.
Africa’s World Cup playoffs will serve up a Mohamed Salah versus Sadio Mane sequel because the Liverpool teammates face off on reverse sides once more with their international locations, this time for a spot at soccer’s greatest present.
Salah’s Egypt will face Mane’s Senegal in one of many continent’s 5 decisive World Cup playoffs, with the primary leg in Cairo on Friday.
The draw for the playoffs was made earlier than the 2 Liverpool stars met in final month’s African Cup of Nations remaining, which was gained by Senegal in a shoot-out due to Mane’s profitable penalty.
The second leg is at Senegal’s new 50,000-seat Abdoulaye Wade Stadium on Tuesday.
Egypt versus Senegal headlines the playoffs however there may be additionally an enormous West African derby pitting Ghana in opposition to Nigeria.
The 5 winners of the two-legged ties will seal progress to Qatar 2022.
Egypt v Senegal
Liverpool supervisor Jurgen Klopp recognised the importance of the sport when he rested Mane for Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal in opposition to Nottingham Forest as a result of Salah was already out with a minor damage.
“As a result of the sport is just too huge in Africa,” Klopp stated.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has largely saved religion with the gamers that turned African champions in Cameroon earlier this 12 months when contemplating his squad.
Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz challenged Salah and his teammates to succeed this time “as a result of there isn’t a room for sorrys or tomorrows”.
Ghana v Nigeria
4-time African champions and former World Cup quarterfinalists Ghana are in injury management following an embarrassing group-stage exit on the African Cup by the hands of Comoros.
Ghana have new management in head coach Otto Addo and technical adviser Chris Hughton after Milovan Rajevac was fired for the African Cup failure. The workforce is with out captain Andre Ayew due to his pink card in that loss to Comoros.
Nigeria have been at instances spectacular on the African Cup and has been strengthened by the return of strikers Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo, who have been each unavailable for that match.
Cameroon v Algeria
Like Ghana, Algeria have to revive their popularity after a dire defence of their African title in Cameroon, after they completed backside of the group with out profitable a recreation.
Veteran striker Baghdad Bounedjah and midfielder Yassine Brahimi have been dropped from the squad by coach Djamel Belmadi.
Cameroon are actually coached by former nationwide captain Rigobert Tune, who was appointed a month in the past with the help of recent Cameroon federation president Samuel Eto’o, his former teammate.
The Indomitable Lions’ buildup has been difficult by goalkeeper Andre Onana’s involvement in a severe automobile crash this week – he escaped unharmed – and the unavailability of key midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa due to damage.
DR Congo v Morocco
DR Congo might be the story of the playoffs in the event that they shock Morocco to succeed in the World Cup for the primary time since their solely earlier look on the 1974 match as Zaire.
That could be remembered for the 9-0 loss to Yugoslavia that also shares the file because the World Cup’s greatest defeat. However this Congo workforce is led by skilled Argentine coach Hector Cuper and might name on former Belgium youth participant Theo Bongonda for the primary time after the winger switched allegiance to his mother and father’ nation of start in January.
Morocco are the clear favorite to advance even with out Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, who has turned down a recall due to his persevering with feud with coach Vahid Hallihodzic.
Mali v Tunisia
Mali are the one one of many 10 playoff contenders to have by no means performed at a World Cup earlier than.
They’ve now been in a position to name up two former France under-21 gamers in Eintracht Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure and Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure in opposition to Tunisia.